Rusty the Cat: On the “Greener Grass”

A man is sitting on a railroad track.
Another man approaches him and says:
“Scooch over! I’ll sit next to you.”
A joke from my childhood*

Over the years, Rusty has learned that my vSO and I have al the things that are better than what he has: pates, meet, cheese, etc. that we eat are almost like Rusty’s wet food but better. The comforter we hide from him in our bedroom is better than the old one (a King size!) that we gave to him. And whatever we use to decorate our living space is a much better toy than anything we bring Rusty from a pet store.

But while he can’t get as much of our food as he’d like to, and our bedroom stays off-limits for him during the work week, there are some other areas of life where Rusty insists on being treated as equal (kind of).

On the sofa where my vSO spends evenings reading, surfing or watching, we have two pillows. During the day Rusty has access to both of them, but usually he prefers other parts of the house. While sitting on the sofa in the evening, my vSO usually uses one pillow to support his back and lays flat the other one for Rusty to sleep there. And every time when Rusty decides to join him on the sofa, he completely ignores the pillow conveniently laying flat, comes to my vSO and starts touching or even clawing the pillow behind his back – until he gives up and relinquishes the pillow. First we thought that Rusty considered one of these two as his and tried to reclaim it. But no: it’s whatever pillow is currently “in use.”


Rusty on Pillow


In the home office where we both work, if Rusty decides to join us during the work day, we have multiple places where he might sleep, including a special blanket on the desk to the left from my computer (as shown on the picture to one of the previous episodes of this series – Rusty the Cat: On Comfort Temperatures). I even tolerate for a while if he decides to plop himself down on my lap, even though it’s not particularly convenient if I need to write a document or do something else not related to reading or sitting on a meeting. But as soon as I get up from my chair, Rusty immediately occupies it and falls asleep. Knowing this his habit, I tried not to leave it unattended unless I would go to the kitchen (then Rusty would join me there) or plan to work standing for the next couple of hours. But recently Rusty decided that he shouldn’t be waiting for me to leave of my own accord. Instead, he would get on that blanket I mentioned and try to get between me and the seat back or keep touching my arm prodding me to vacate the chair. A coupe of days ago he did it while my vSO’s chair (which is almost identical to mine but without an additional pillow) was unoccupied and completely accessible! I gave in and worked standing for the next couple of hours (I have a sit/stand desk).


Rusty In an Office Chair


Rusty is so artless and straightforward in his pursuit of comfort, that it’s almost impossible to resist him. So, usually we don’t.


* For those of my readers who speak Russian, the characters in the epigraph joke were Pet’ka and Chapayev

Images: my own


31 thoughts on “Rusty the Cat: On the “Greener Grass”

  1. What can one say? Cats are the ultimate comfort lovers and will do anything to achieve bliss. They know they have us wrapped around their little paws and we will give into them. Who could resist a cute face? They are also exceptionally determined and “never give up” is their motto.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It may also have to do with Rusty’s Big Cat roots. I once read an account of a Bushman. The camp of his nomadic people was often situated on a high hill where lions used to sit. The potential conflict was resolved, the Bushmen had a way of communcating with these lions and they came to a way of living together with no harm. Whenever the camp moved on, the lions would take back the hill. Sadly, the Bushmen were forced to end their nomadic life and live in (depressing) villages. When he returned to that place, many years later, the lions had once again taken their position on the high hill…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I “babysit” my daughter’s cat for long periods and she is here with me now. Cats do have a beguiling way of getting exactly what they want! Rusty would be difficult to resist.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I do like having her. My dog died last year (which was devastating although not unexpected) and I miss having a pet in the house. But since we still go to my husband’s home in Australia for 3 months at a time, it is not practical for me to have my own pet again, so this works well!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. So funny, and so true. With all of us working from home, our cat Tinkerbelle has become a queen, and almost outrageous in her demands for even more attention but we still love her.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sure he thinks that he allows us to spend time on his territory. Whenever anyone goes into the bathroom that he considers his, he always checks after that to make sure everything is alright in there.


  5. “ … our bedroom stays off-limits for him during the work week …” – 🤔

    I thought your bedroom was off-limits. Period. But I must have missed when you let him in on the weekends.

    Cats will be cats and he has you and your VSO wrapped around his furry 🐾!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Initially, we did it on principle because we weren’t sure whether my vSO was allergic to cats (he isn’t). Then we decided that we didn’t want to feed him when he would want us to but do it after we get up – and he mostly follows our schedule. Besides, with him eating plastic, our bedroom isn’t “cat-proof” – so, he cannot be allowed in during the night or when we aren’t around. So, the only time he gets to spend in the bedroom is on a weekend if he allows us to “sleep in” (doesn’t start meowing behind the door) – so when he finally comes, we let him to stay with us for 20-30 minutes before we finally get up and feed him.


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